in the audio universe The Delgados' latest, Universal Audio, eschews the orchestral grandeur of the last two Dave Fridmann-produced albums, The Great Eastern and Hate, for a sunnier pop hop that is at times unabashedly upbeat, both musically and lyrically. If they're happier-sounding than on earlier records, they're just as lyrically acute, developing into a latter-day XTC, capable of lush beauty, bright folky pop or sharp-edged rock, as the situation dictates. The most recent Crooked Fingers' show found ex-Archers of Loafer Eric Bachmann delving more into the electric guitar and moving further from the acoustic singer/songwriter contingent. --
The Delgados and Crooked Fingers play the Cat's Cradle Saturday, Nov. 13.